I attended Diamond Ranch Academy in October 2009-August 2010. I was 15 when I entered and 16 when I left, I am 21 years old now. At 15 years old I was very lost and confused. I guess for a lack of better words I was just young and inexperienced. I didnt think too much about the future or what would come if I had continue living my life the way I was. No regard for the law, no regard for any authority figure of any kind. Including my parents and my guardians at the time (my aunt and uncle). I dropped out of highschool, I started using drugs recreationally, and most importantly I lost sight of what was most important, my SELF WORTH. I had given up on myself and any future I wanted to have as a young boy.
When I as in the process of being transported to Diamond Ranch I was livid!! More than just livid I was confused and scared as well. Two really big gentlemen pulled me out of my car in broad daylight in front of my dad and grandma. I didnt know where I was going or what was to come of this. They told me I was going to boarding school in Utah. They made it seem really sweet and awesome. They told me I would go snowboarding and rock climbing and get to use the phone and Internet so I was actually kind of thrilled. I’m sure you know how the transports take place so i wont bore you with that story.
Now on to the most important part of this email. When I arrived to Diamond Ranch it was such a surreal experience. I mean when I was in homeless sitting outside looking at the mountains I would literally wait for them all to move away as if it were a portait from a movie. Words can’t describe the things I felt and emotions I felt while sitting down silently with all the time in the world to reflect on how I ended up here in the first place. And it took me a very long time to figure it out. I was in homeless for 2 and a half months because I just wouldnt comply and do what I was supposed to do because I was still feeling rebellious and not happy with the cards I was dealt. Or the cards I dealt to myself realistically. But once I got out of homeless and made friends and became friends with the staff my entire experience changed..
I am a baseball player so I joined the baseball team and things were so awesome!! It felt so good to actually be apart of something that you know is constructive and beneficial. I felt as if I really got to unleash my true talent and raw potential as I played catcher and that was something out of my comfort zone. But I owned that position and have some of the most amazing memories on those fields. I also caught Jon South who had an arm from God. At Diamond Ranch I also wrote a 450 page book that I am in the process of publishing now (yes it took me 5 years to get it right lol). Which all of my friends got to read while I was there and they kept motivating me to push and write because they wanted to read more. So much good has come from Diamond Ranch and I can LITERALLY go on forever and ever about the good it has done for me.
I think what im actually trying to get at here today is that when I first got to Diamond Ranch I despised it. I despised the people, the staff, the smell, the colors, everything. But things changed. I am a grown man here today and I am here to tell you that IT WORKED. I am an aspiring musician and I own a vapor shop in South Florida called Vapor Life. The market for vapor is incredible and was too much to pass up on. So I took a chance and it’s going great! I can honestly say the only reason why I am where I am today is because of Diamond Ranch. Like i said I can go on forever about the good the program did for me but you wouldnt get to finish your work day. This email would be infinitely long. I have made a lot of mistakes in my life and done things I will never do again thanks to you…
The staff at DRA touched my heart. You touched my heart because I know you all have hearts. Every single one of you. From the kitchen staff to the teachers to the night time and day time staff as well. I haven’t had hate in my heart since I left DRA. Not once. For anyone or anything. I realize how truly beautiful life is thanks to a program that I never wanted to do or I could never get anyone to believe I attended. I want to send so many special thank you’s but in all reality it was every single individual that made my experience what it was.
I never once thought you guys were a scam or were trying to intentionally hurt people. It hurts me when I see things like that but then I realize that not everybody welcomes change. Not everybody wants to be a better person for tomorrow and would rather point the finger for today. Their hearts were never truly open and I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry that you can’t reach everyone how you reached me. But that is life and I’m sure you understand. I lost a very close DRA friend of mine, Samuel Bacon. I realized that the bond that I have with the people I lived with for 10 months is a brotherly bond that can NEVER be broken, not even by time.
I LOVE YOU GUYS SOO MUCH AND THANK YOU FOR POINTING ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION TO MAKE ME THE MAN I AM TODAY!!! I can never repay you for saving my life.
P.s. I would LOVE to visit one day. I want to see how everything is run and get the amazing opportunity to see the way you are touching and changing lives today.